One food that I adore are sandwiches. Before I went veggie, I loved to have lots of cheese and meat – chicken pesto, corned beef Rueben’s, even a simple grilled ham and cheese! Then I just suddenly stopped eating sandwiches.
I guess I was transitioning out of the meat and cheese mindset and wasn’t too creative when it came to veggie options; until recently. I have found my sandwich love again!
But what makes a good sandwich? The bread? The filling? The texture?
I LOVE bread and because this is the vehicle of any sandwich, it has to be a quality bread. Crusty sourdough bread is one of my favorites, especially fresh made that day from a bakery. It has the perfect crunchy outside crust and a soft and chewy middle. I also always have a few loafs of store bought bread in my fridge/freezer. I love any kind of sprouted bread – right now I am loving Dave’s Killer Bread. I don’t make homemade bread often, although I should as I have a bread machine, and I do LOVE the smell of fresh made bread.
But there are times that I don’t want bread. I love wrapping ingredients in big leaves of crisp lettuce or cabbage. Refreshing and a wonderful way to incorporate more veggies.
There is only one word to describe the fillings in a sandwich – endless. Beans, hummus, greens, vegetables, fruit, nuts, herbs, tofu; sweet or savory; hot or cold. Fresh, in-season, organic produce taste the best and make the best sandwich. Juicy tomatoes, crisp lettuce, crunchy sunflower seeds and spicy basil… are your taste buds dancing yet?
I love making new sandwich combos. Now that I am eating mostly vegan I have had to use my brain and become pretty inventive. Making spreads our\t of hummus and black beans, avocado, sunflower seeds… using baby spinach, onion, cucumber, carrots… DELISH!
Here are a few sandwiches that I have created using a little thinking and a lot of love!
Grilled Black Bean Sandwich
- 2 slices of bread of your choice
- 1 tablespoon hummus
- 1/2 cup black beans
- handful of baby spinach, or greens of your choice
- red onion
- 1/4 of an avocado, or more if you are like me 😉
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter or olive oil (for outside of bread)
Heat pan on medium low.
Lightly butter or oil two slices of bread.
Add hummus, black bean and salt and pepper to a bowl and mash together. I left my beans a bit chunky.
Spread avocado on one piece of bread, butter side out. Top with the hummus-bean mixture. Place bread, butter side down, in pan.
Cut red onion into slices and place on top of hummus.
Place leaves of washed baby spinach leaves on top of red onion.
Add more avocado to the other piece of bread, butter side out.
Place bread, avocado side down, on top of spinach.
Now take a spatula and press firmly on sandwich – I like my grilled sandwiches thin but dense, but since I don’t have a Panini grill I have to improvise. =)
Once bread is toasted, flip carefully and press. The inside should be gooey and warm.
Slice in half, pair with your soup of choice and devour!
Bean Burger Lettuce Wrap
- Black Bean Burger or veggie burger of your choice
- 1/4 cup avocado, diced
- red onion
- hot sauce (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of hummus
- salt and pepper
- large lettuce leaf, I used Romaine
Spread hummus on half of lettuce leaf.
Take your bean burger and place it on top of the hummus.
Top the burger with onion, tomato, avocado salt and pepper. Gently wrap and eat.
So grab a knife, some bread and get busy! Even if you are not vegan or vegetarian, I dare you to go beyond that package of store bought deli meat and the block of yellow cheese – a whole world of tempting sandwich ingredients await you!